stigma - Stigma By Erving Goffman Stigma and Social...

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Stigma By Erving Goffman Stigma and Social Identity Society establishes the means of categorizing persons and the complement of attributes felt to be ordinary and natural for members of each categories Social identity : when a stranger comes into our presence then first appearances are likely to enable us to anticipate his category and attributes virtual social identity : a characterization “in effect” actual social identity : the category and attributes he could in fact be proved to possess evidence can arise of his possessing an attribute that makes him different from others in the category of persons available for him to be, and of a less desirable kind—in the extreme, a person who is quite thoroughly bad, or dangerous, or weak - He is thus reduced in our minds from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one - Stigma : an attribute that stigmatizes one type of possessor can confirm the usualness of another, and therefore, is neither creditable nor discreditable as a thing in itself a stigma then is really a special kind of relationship between attribute and stereotype Does the stigmatized individual resume his differentness is known about already or is evident on the spot, or does he assume it is neither known about by those present nor immediately perceivable by them? - First case is the plight of the discredited - Second with that of the discreditable three types of stigma - Abominations of the body—the various physical deformities - blemishes of individual character perceived as weak will, domineering, or unnatural passions, treacherous and rigid beliefs, and dishonesty, these being inferred from a known record of, for ex. mental disorder, imprisonment, addiction, alcoholism, homosexuality, unemployment, suicidal attempts, and radical political behavior - The tribal stigma of race, nation and religion, these being stigma that can be transmitted through lineages and equally contaminate all members of a family Same sociological features are found: an individual who might have been received easily in ordinary social intercourse possess a trait that can obtrude it self upon attention and turn those of us whom he meets away from him, breaking the claim that his other attributes have on us. - He possess a stigma, an undesired differentness from what we had anticipated - Normals : we and those who do not depart negatively from the particular expectations at issue by definition we believe the person with a stigma is not quite human 1
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- On this assumption we exercise varieties of discrimination, through which we effectively if often unthinkingly, reduce his life chances construct a stigma theory, an ideology to explain his inferiority and account for the danger he represents, sometimes rationalizing an animosity based on other differences such as those of social class we tend to impute a wide range of imperfections on the basis of the original one, and at the same time to impute some desirable but undesired attributes often of supernatural cast
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